Star Words: A spiritual practice for Epiphany

We invite everyone to participate in our Star Words activity — a tradition that many congregations engage in at Epiphany to help us to pay attention to what God might be revealing. Let this word be a guiding word for the year. Write it down and post it somewhere you will see it every day, and get into a habit of asking yourself and God what can be learned from it. Let your Star Word help you find a greater connection with God this coming year.


Click here to be redirected to a random Star Words generator provided to us courtesy of the RevGals Facebook group that Pastors Kimberly and Becky are both a part of.

Advent-Christmas Worship Series, November 28 – January 2

When something hits close to home, it affects us deeply. During the Advent and Christmas season, we journey through scriptures and rituals that are tender, heavy with emotion, and vulnerable. We carry the memories and truths of this season close to our hearts.

 

Our Advent “Close to Home” theme from @sanctifiedart acknowledges the “already but not yet” tension of our faith: Emmanuel is with us, and yet, God’s promised day — our everlasting home — is not fully realized. It names our deep longing for God to come close to us.

 

On December 26, our service will be pre-recorded and streamed on YouTube; we will not have an in-person gathering in the sanctuary.

  • Advent 1: Sunday, Nov. 28 — Homesick

    As we begin Advent with the “Little Apocalypse” in Luke 21, we remember how far from home we are. The world is not as it should be. Many have lost their physical homes, many feel alone, and many are isolated. Many of us feel as if we are wandering with no clear way forward. This first week speaks to our deep longing — for our home to be made whole, made right, and made well. With deep longing, we watch for God. Thankfully, God enters a homesick world.

  • Advent 2: Sunday, Dec. 5 — Laying the Foundation

    In the miraculous birth of John the Baptist, we see the foundation of what is to come. We see how interwoven his story is with Jesus’s origin story. When Zechariah regains his voice, his imagination is also restored. He offers deep praise for God’s tender mercy, and casts a hopeful vision for his own child. He sings blessings into John’s being. This lays the foundation for John’s life. In turn, John will go on to prepare the way for Jesus who will guide us all in the way of peace. In this week, we focus on making space — in our lives and our imaginations — for God’s blessings to break through

  • Advent 3: Sunday, Dec. 12 — A Home for All

    John the Baptist’s good news sounds harsh, but he preaches a home for all — where inequities are banished, valleys are lifted up, and all have the resources they need for collective flourishing. Ultimately, John’s message is one of joy. We are called to collectively build and repair the structures of our society; we are called to be kin-dom builders. Wherever we build, God is there. What we build should be a place with a large table and room for all.

  • Advent 4: Sunday, Dec. 19 — Seeking Sanctuary

    After receiving the angel’s extraordinary news, Mary retreats to Elizabeth and Zechariah’s home to digest her new calling. She seeks refuge — physical safety and emotional protection. She receives a safe haven, a home for her heart to soon sing praise. Sanctuary and safe space is so crucial for everyone, especially the mother of Christ while she prepares to become a home for God. Sanctuary is anywhere God’s love dwells freely and abundantly.

  • Christmas Eve: Friday, Dec. 24 at 4:00pm — Invited Home

    There is no room for Mary and Joseph in the inn. They are displaced from their home, journeying to fulfill their civic requirements to be counted in the census. And yet, the time comes to give birth where they are, and so a humble home is found. A place is made — among the feeding trough, in a cramped room abounding with chaos. In many ways, Jesus is born without an invitation, and yet, he devotes his life to inviting people who are cast out. In the same way, we might imagine the story of Christmas as God’s invitation to be welcomed home despite all barriers. How will we respond?

  • First Sunday after Christmas: Sunday, Dec. 26 — Chosen Home

    This is a pre-recorded service of music and reflection that all are invited to share in your homes (or wherever you may be), watching on YouTube or Zoom.

     

    Home is not necessarily a place, but where we find authentic belonging. In this story, we find Jesus pursuing his theological education, increasing in his wisdom even as a young man. After the Passover festival, he strays from his birth family to dwell in the Temple, listening to the Rabbis and asking questions. Jesus claims and takes up space, choosing to dwell where God has chosen him to be. Similarly, we all need homes of our choosing — people and places that welcome us just as we are.

  • Epiphany: Sunday, Jan. 2 — Home by Another Way

    The story of Epiphany marks an end and the beginning. Leaving their home, the Wise Men embark upon a pilgrimage, seeking the glimpse of the divine in the Christ child. Being warned in a dream, the Magi choose a different direction to journey back home. This leads them away from Herod’s deception, manipulation, and harm. The Magi make a subversive choice to disobey Herod. They listen to God speaking to them through their dreams. As our own journeys continue, we remember we must sometimes make bold choices to choose a different way.

Branding & Design by Rev. Lauren Wright Pittman. Photography by Rev. Lisle Gwynn Garrity. © A Sanctified Art LLC | sanctifiedart.org